The App Store's much vaunted privacy labels have gone missing

Mac App Store App Privacy Labels Hero
Mac App Store App Privacy Labels Hero (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

What you need to know

  • App Store privacy labels are no longer available in the App Store.
  • It isn't clear whether the change is a bug or something Apple has done on purpose.
  • Privacy labels show whether an app collets data or not.

Apple's App Store privacy labels have gone missing but it isn't clear why. While it seems most likely that this is a bug, it's possible that Apple is tweaking something in the background. Either way, no apps currently display their privacy labels in the App Store across all of Apple's platforms.

Apple announced its privacy labels at WWDC in 2020 with the aim being to allow people to get a look at what information an app would collect before they installed it. If an app collects data, the privacy labels are supposed to explain that so people can make an informed decision before downloading. However, as Twitter posts have pointed out, they've all gone missing.

App Store Privacy Labels App Store

App Store Privacy Labels App Store (Image credit: Apple)

Notably, Apple requires that the App Store privacy information be provided whenever a new app or update is submitted for review.

The App Store now helps users better understand an app's privacy practices before they download the app on any Apple platform. On each app's product page, users can learn about some of the data types the app may collect, and whether that data is linked to them or used to track them. You'll need to provide information about your app's privacy practices, including the practices of third-party partners whose code you integrate into your app, in App Store Connect. This information is required to submit new apps and app updates to the App Store.

I've reached out to Apple for confirmation on what's going on, but for now it looks like users are on their own if they want to be sure that an app isn't doing anything they wouldn't want it to.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.